City of Sarasota receives $28,300 grant for educational materials on climate change in region

Infographics, maps and brochures among materials to be produced

Image courtesy City of Sarasota

The City of Sarasota has received a $28,300 grant from the Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice to help develop unified educational materials on climate change for the Sarasota-Manatee region, City Manager Tom Barwin reported in his April 12 newsletter.

“Our coastal region is considered one of the most vulnerable areas in the nation for sea level rise and coastal flooding,” he pointed out. “[C]oordinated messaging will help boost the public’s understanding of climate change [and] the issues we’re facing as a community,” as well as help build regional resiliency, he added.

Among the educational materials will be infographics, brochures and maps about local climate change projections and potential impacts, along with “a specific call to action to help,” Barwin wrote. Five short videos also will be produced, sharing community members’ direct experience with local climate impacts and community strategies, such as the city’s Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan, he noted.

“The materials will be shared via social media and across many organizations through the Climate Council, a regional network of over 30 community groups,” Barwin pointed out.

City Sustainability Manager Stevie Freeman-Montes will oversee the project, “with assistance from our partners with this initiative, the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and the Science and Environment Council,” Barwin added.

Over the past year, thanks to the work of the city’s Sustainability team, its Public Works Department and its grants writer, Barwin continued, the city has secured more than $638,000 in grant funds for sustainability initiatives in the community — “very impressive!” he wrote.

The other grants are as follows:

  • $300,000 from Partners for Green Places. This funds energy audits and efficiency upgrades for local nonprofits. (Sarasota County was a co-applicant.)
  • $180,000 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coastal Resilience program, which is paying for the Boulevard of the Arts shoreline stabilization project.
  • $129,765 from The Recycling Partnership, which paid for part of the expense of the new single-stream recycling carts and educational materials in the city.

“Submitting for grants is an investment,” Barwin pointed out. “And we’re seeing remarkable interest and success with our environment-related grant submissions.”